The EU has decided that from 2035 only New Cars with Zero Carbon Dioxide Emissions will be Sold
European Union countries gave final approval on Tuesday to a key law to end sales of new cars emitting carbon dioxide emissions in 2035, after Germany won an exemption for cars running on e-fuels, Reuters reported.
The approval by EU energy ministers means Europe's main climate policy for cars can now come into force - after weeks of delays caused by last-minute resistance from Germany.
EU law will require all new cars sold to have zero carbon dioxide emissions from 2035 and 55% lower emissions from 2030 compared to 2021 levels. The targets are designed to drive the rapid decarbonization of new car fleets in Europe. However, the European Commission has promised to create a legal pathway so that the sale of new cars that run only on e-fuels can continue after 2035, after Germany requested this exemption from the ban.
EU policy was expected to make it impossible to sell cars with internal combustion engines in the EU from 2035. But the exemption won by Germany offers a potential lifeline for traditional vehicles - even though e-fuels are not yet produced in sufficient numbers.
E-fuels are produced by synthesizing captured carbon dioxide emissions and hydrogen produced using CO2-free electricity. They are considered carbon neutral because the carbon dioxide released when the fuel is burned is balanced by that which is removed from the atmosphere to make the fuel.
Poland voted against the law on Tuesday. Italy, Bulgaria and Romania abstained. Poland has called the law unrealistic and said it risks driving up car prices, while Italy wants cars powered by biofuels to also be exempt from the 2035 phase-out. Transport is responsible for nearly a quarter of emissions in the EU.
EU energy ministers also agreed to extend the voluntary target to curb gas consumption by 15% for 12 months to help prepare for next winter.
Some EU officials had expected ministers to tackle a row over whether nuclear power should count towards the union's renewable energy targets, an issue that has divided countries and threatens to delay the EU's main policy on renewables.
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